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mynameistory's not-a-build thread

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by mynameistory, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Feb 17, 2019 at 1:45 AM
    #31
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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    Which is weird cuz Gobi isn't gonna do them any favors
     
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  2. Feb 17, 2019 at 6:32 AM
    #32
    HoBoDanny

    HoBoDanny Dude...

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    RCI Skid Plate CBI Ditch Light Brackets Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10 265 70R17 113T Tires 1.25” Wheel Spacers TPMS Bypass Mod Hydrocarbon Filter Removed Merca decal 2” leveling kit front only Black headlights
    No Gobi is doing them a huge favor they sell them a product....:stirthepot:
     
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  3. Feb 19, 2019 at 7:51 AM
    #33
    PrettyGoodSam

    PrettyGoodSam New Member

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    how are you getting a range of 382 miles?
     
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  4. Feb 20, 2019 at 7:50 PM
    #34
    mynameistory

    mynameistory [OP] New Member

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    The same 4Runner everyone has
    When it has a full tank it reads 425, however I'm pretty sure the range drops faster than the actual miles I drive. For example, I could drive 18 miles on a full tank and it will drop to 400.

    I believe the truck projects the range based on your driving habits (this memory will reset when the battery is disconnected). I leave 5 minutes early everywhere and drive like a grandpa, which is safer, less stressful, and cheaper on gas. Someone who jabs at the pedals like Keith Moon might have a lower projected range than me.
     
  5. Feb 21, 2019 at 11:43 AM
    #35
    PrettyGoodSam

    PrettyGoodSam New Member

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    damn mine has only ever read like 305 at the highest haha. i dont do a ton of highway driving, so im guessing thats why.
     
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  6. Jul 18, 2019 at 12:57 AM
    #36
    mynameistory

    mynameistory [OP] New Member

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    The same 4Runner everyone has
    A few months ago I got it into my head that my truck simply didn't have enough overlanding points, and that the slot on the front of my roof rack looked a little empty. Let's get some lights!

    There are a TON of options out there, everything from cheap eBay junk to setups that cost thousands of dollars from Baja Designs or KC HiLites. Like almost everyone, I wanted to select parts that worked for my needs (ok, nobody needs a light bar, so make that wants) and a good value for my dollar. So I ended up somewhere in the middle.

    [​IMG]

    I started by figuring out what I could fit. The slot on the V2 Ecotechne racks is about 3" thick by 42" wide, and about a half inch deep. Right away, most of the big dollar bars were out. As cool as the S6 and Gravity bars are, they're simply too big and bulky to fit up there (they're also expensive and pretty overkill for my purpose). I wanted to find something that fit neatly into the slot and didn't stick out a mile. I started to look at "mid range" light bars.

    I'd seen a few people run bars from ExtremeLED, and the smaller 38" bar would fit neatly. So, I ordered one to give it a shot. Shipping was fast and packaging was protective. It fit where I wanted.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    However, when I did a test fit using the provided harness, I quickly realized that this wouldn't be a great solution for a roof bar. Here's my review that I left for it after returning the bar. By the way, they have an excellent support staff that processed my return quickly and were very helpful.

    I bought this light with the intention of installing it on my roof rack. I know that mounting lights on the roofline comes with the risk of producing too much glare on the hood, but I decided to try due to its description as a spot pattern. However, the optics on this bar seem way too scattered to be a true narrow-angle spot. They are simply LED chips with shallow reflector cones mounted over them. I had to aim the light way too high in order to reduce hood glare to an acceptable level, making this bar less useful than I hoped. The amber end lights also didn't seem to contribute much brightness, even when used by themselves- they don't produce much "fill light" like I hoped that they would. When the center section is on, you can hardly see the ambers at all. Finally, the faceplate covers seem to be made of a phenolic style plastic, which is fine but they appear to distort a lot during assembly when looking at the bar from the side. They may be sturdy but it gives the light a cheap look.

    At least the lights in the center section are bright, but I would call the overall beam pattern disorganized. While it has a lot of output, I'm not sure it's very usable for anything other than a vague flood of light. And the BRIGHT white glare on the hood meant that my eyes were being dazzled unnecessarily, reducing the utility of the light where I wanted.

    Overall, the X6S bar appears to be a stout, compact, and inexpensive light bar option; but it would not work for my application. I care much more about how the lights will work than how they'll look on instagram.


    So it was back to the drawing board. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take pictures of the light working and the hood glare, as I only did preliminary testing with no permanent bracket installation.

    While I was processing the return, I spent some time emailing Diode Dynamics about their bars. They advertise that their lights are the few (or only) that use Total Internal Reflection (TIR) optics for their LED chips that results in usable driving patterns and keeps wasted/spilled light to a minimum. A lot of companies advertise whatever technology or techniques they're using, but I believe only a few companies that sell quality products know their stuff inside and out; and can back it up. There's a YouTube video with a presentation from their development engineering team. It doesn't have flashy graphics or any marketing, but it does have a lot of detail about how they're using the TIR optics in their bars. If you're not a lighting engineer (I'm not) it will probably bore the pants off of you.

    YouTube

    Whether or not their claims were legitimate or pure marketing, I was willing to give it a shot as it was a bar that met my size and budget requirements. I spoke with a rep and had all my questions addressed (thanks Matthew). Since they do not sell a 36" (6 section) bar, I was trying to figure out what to do with an "odd size". The 42" bar would be a challenge to mount, as it would take up the whole rack and leave no room for brackets (at least without getting really creative).

    So I decided to get a 30" bar from Diode Dynamics and then flank it with a set of smaller lights that could be aimed independently. I ordered the bar in the combo pattern, meaning that the outer two segments have flood optics while the center three have a spot pattern.I ordered 2 extra spot lenses for $3 each just in case the flood lenses gave me the same glare problem on the hood. I found a great price for S2 Pro lights from BD and decided to use those as ditch lighting on the corners.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It took me a while but I was able to design and cut out some stainless brackets to have as low of a profile as possible. The brackets for the S2 lights basically allow them to be mounted flush, as I welded a 3/8" stud to them instead of having a separate bolt with a head. The main bar brackets are pretty simple 90º designs, but I needed them in custom dimensions in order to fit the cutouts already present in the roof rack fairing. I also made my own bracket for a Blue Seas fuse box.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also spent some time organizing and purchasing all of the extra junk (wiring, fuse box and mounting bracket, relays, switches, heat shrink tubing, connectors, hardware, etc.). In fact, I spent more on all of these incidentals than on the actual lights themselves! Make sure you leave yourself plenty of budget for this stuff. The DD bar had a Deutsch connector but I decided to change everything to weatherpack to keep it consistent (I also already have a weatherpack crimper for assembling connectors).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For what it's worth, the Diode Dynamics bar is only a little more expensive than the X6S bar from Extreme (for any given size). However, I think the quality is miles ahead. The faceplates are machined aluminum and have O-ring seals. The lenses look and feel more purposeful, and the end plate castings have proper ports (one is used for a waterproof cable outlet for the wiring, and the other side has a vent installed). I'd be interested to check out a Baja Designs bar to see how much more robust it is, I know they have a serious racing pedigree. In any case, I was very impressed with the construction of the Stage Series bar.

    After setting it up and aiming the bar to merge with the low beams at a range of about 80-100 feet, I'm extremely happy with the output. The hood does illuminate slightly when the lights are on, but it's a soft illumination without harsh white glare reflecting back into my eyes. The light is thrown far downrange and the flood lenses help diffuse the edges for transition visibility. I'll have to take some night trips to determine if my eyes get fatigued from the hood glow, but it is definitely MUCH better than the previous bar. It is really a usable pattern that can be aimed, instead of a glaring blob of brightness. The S2 lights are also insanely bright for their size, and provide proper ditch lighting that can be seen and used- unlike the other bar where they were integrated and barely noticeable.



    1. No lights
    2. Morimoto 2stroke 2.0 LED low-beams
    3. Low beams + Phillips 12793UNIX2 yellow fog bulbs
    4. Xenon Depot Extreme LED hi-beams (with DRL module) and low beams (fog canceled)
    5. Lows, fogs, and S2 ditch lights
    6. Everything plus the DD bar

    I'll detail a parts list, some things I learned, and things that I would do differently in the next post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
    ForRun, nimby and WallyT4R like this.
  7. Jul 18, 2019 at 12:58 AM
    #37
    mynameistory

    mynameistory [OP] New Member

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    Here's a rough list of the parts I used and some I wish I didn't. I'll try to list only one-off items that might be unique to my install. GXL wiring, heat-shrink connectors, fuse taps, relays, etc. are all fairly common and you can use just about anything automotive rated.

    For the switch wiring through the firewall, I bundled six 18ga GXL wires together and used MCMaster adhesive heat shrink (a huge pain in the ass to get therm all pushed through). After hitting it with the heat gun and passing it through the firewall grommet, I terminated each end with a weatherpack 6-pin connector.

    McMaster parts used:
    Adhesive, UV stable heat-shrink: 8195K33
    Mesh sleeving: 9196K12
    Silicone grommets that fit the plugged factory holes: 1061T15
    Non-adhesive, UV stable heat-shrink: 8061K95

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    While I like how the fusebox and bracket turned out, I'm bummed that the relays I ordered will only install upside down on the Rago relay bracket. It looks very untidy, so I'm going to switch gears and build a Bussmann RTMR using a Shrockworks bracket and the Bodenzord guide. Honestly I should have done this from the start, but I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do the full install in time for my 4th of July trip. Plus it was a fun learning curve building my own.

    At first, I used the adhesive heat shrink to wrap the 14ga GXL wiring and pushed it into the windshield channels going up to the rack. However, the bundles were just slightly too thick and they kept popping out and flapping on the highway. I switched to the non-adhesive tubing which was a bit smaller after shrinking, and these seem to stay in place much better. They're also UV resistant, so they should resist fading. I may add a small bead of butyl tape in the channel to keep them stuck in a little more securely.

    I also tried to organize my wiring under the rack fairing a little more using adhesive zip-tie mounts, but those ended up debonding a few days later (heating/cooling/condensation cycles), so I'm not even bothering to include them in the parts list.

    Switches are Air On Board Toyota push style, in blue that matches the dash lighting.

    [​IMG]

    For connecting the switch circuits, I used a triple bus bar all the way from Germany- It was the only terminal block that did what i wanted with a small footprint. One bus has +12V from the fuse tap for the switch circuit power. I used the charging port circuit for the add-a-fuse, so the switches only get power when the key is in the ignition. The middle bus is +12V for the illumination circuit, and the third bus is either for pure ground or illumination ground, I haven't decided yet (the illumination dimming function is variable between 0 and 12V, and is what allows your dash to dim when you scroll the dial). If I hook it to pure ground, the switches will not dim along with the rest of the dash. However, I have some other things that would benefit from having an easily accessible ground bus.I still haven't tapped into illumination yet, so I'll figure that out later.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Jul 18, 2019 at 12:58 AM
    #38
    mynameistory

    mynameistory [OP] New Member

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    Last few things. First one is so easy and cheap, I can't really call it a mod. There's a dummy plug on the center of the dash that pops out easily. Not sure why, but Toyota must have decided last minute not to install the light sensor that was meant to go there- there's even a wire harness hooked up to it! (Not sure if all models have the harness, but it's easy to check for yourself). Got a cheap photo sensor from eBay thanks to Electro Boy's tip, and plugged it in. Now the dash lighting is a little more intelligent- if I switch on the headlights during the day, the dash will still be at full brightness instead of dimming.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, camera setup by anytimebackupcamera.com

    This was a fairly easy install, with the hardest part being the RCA cable routing. RCA cable ends are very bulky, so pushing it through the firewall grommet and dash components was a real pain. Works well though, and I mounted the rocker switch in the old "party mode" blank near the ignition tumbler. Great for parking at the mall and self-spotting alike.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  9. Jul 18, 2019 at 5:59 AM
    #39
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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    Some great mods man! Nice job
     
    mynameistory [OP] and nimby like this.
  10. Feb 11, 2020 at 9:04 PM
    #40
    glwood54

    glwood54 New Member

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    Tory, I got one of the Amazon knockoffs of the Moki step before I knew this existed. I ended up returning it for a refund, as it hit the rubber coated switch on the door jamb, and wouldn't sit flat. Does the Moki doorstep not do the same? I really like the idea of these, just want to be sure it'll work on the 4R. I think they carry these at the local REI, so I could check there...
     
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  11. Feb 14, 2020 at 11:56 PM
    #41
    mynameistory

    mynameistory [OP] New Member

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    I had to take some time to check for myself, but no, it does not hit any door button. It's longer than most of the knockoffs so it clears fine. However, keep in mind that the rear doorjambs are diagonal where this rests, so the step isn't completely flat. I've also noticed a few small dimples in the sheetmetal from use. Doesn't bother me but you might want to consider that.
     
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  12. Feb 15, 2020 at 6:29 AM
    #42
    glwood54

    glwood54 New Member

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    That's interesting to note about a few small dimples. I've seen several posts saying that the door sheet metal would be reinforced, and shouldn't do that...of course, those that say that may not have a step...thanks for the feedback. I think I'll go by REI and see if I can try one out for fit. The Amazon knockoff I had wouldn't work because the side with the hook was too short, and IIRC, the foot part was wider. If the hook side had been longer, the foot part would have been lower, and below the door switch.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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  13. Feb 23, 2020 at 7:52 AM
    #43
    glwood54

    glwood54 New Member

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    @mynameistory, I picked up a set of Moki doorsteps yesterday @ the local REI. They work great, thanks for the tip.
     
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